Zucchini “Burnt Ends” with Herb Butter and Lemon
For sliced veggies like zucchini or eggplant, or small, skinny vegetables like scallions and asparagus, when the outside is blistered and darkened, the vegetable has finished cooking. That’s why we love these Zucchini “Burnt Ends” with Herb Butter and Lemon.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly flattened with the side of a knife
1 teaspoon freshly and finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons stemmed, chopped fresh dill or mint leaves, plus 3 tablespoons for serving
½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
8 small zucchini (each 6 to 8 ounces)
Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for oiling the grill grate
8 flat (12-inch-long) bamboo skewers or 16 round bamboo skewers
Wood chunks or chips (unsoaked), optional
Make the lemon herb butter: Melt the butter in a cast iron saucepan. Add the garlic, lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of chopped dill and the hot red pepper flakes (if using). Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool. Discard the garlic.
Cut off and discard the ends of the zucchini. Using a mandoline equipped with a finger guard, thinly slice one zucchini lengthwise. (The slices should be the thickness of a quarter.) Lay the slices flat on a rimmed sheet pan. Lightly brush the slices on both sides with the lemon herb butter and season with salt and pepper.
Fold a zucchini slice into an accordion shape (like multiple Ws) and thread it onto a flat skewer. Don’t worry if a few of the slices break – skewer the pieces back to back. Continue threading until all the slices from a single zucchini are on the skewer. The green skin should be on the top and bottom. If using round bamboo skewers, insert a second skewer parallel to the first. (This keeps the zucchini slices from spinning.) Slice, butter, season, and skewer the remaining zucchini the same way. You should wind up with 8 kebabs. It’s best to skewer the zucchini right before grilling.
Meanwhile, raise the EGG temperature to 450°F/232°C. Add the chunks or chips at this time using them. Brush or scrape the cooking grid clean and oil it well.
Arrange the zucchini kebabs, skin side down, on the grid and grill until darkly browned, even singed, at the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and grill the other side skin side down the same way, 6 to 8 minutes in all. Baste the zucchini skewers with the lemon herb butter as they grill. Transfer to a platter or plates for serving and spoon any remaining butter over them. Serve immediately.
Recipe and photo from Big Green Egg and Recipe adapted from How To Grill Vegetables: The New Bible for Barbecuing Vegetables over Live Fire, Workman Publishing.